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The Philippine bare-backed fruit bat Dobsonia chapmani Rabor, 1952: rediscovery and conservation status on Cebu island

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Paguntalan, Lisa Marie J.
Pedregosa, Marisol dG.
Gadiana, Mery Jean C.

The Philippine bare backed fruit bat Dabsonia Chapman's is the largest cave-roosting bat in the Philippines. Known only from the islands of Cebu and Negros, it was alo the first mammal declared extinct in the Philippines not having been recorded on eithr of these islands since the early 1970's, despite systematic searches by trained researchers ( Heaney et al., 1998; Heaney and Regalado, 1998). However, a preliminary survey conducted in Mahuli, Carmen, Cebu in late February 2001, resulted in the unexpected mist-netting of several individuals of this species, all of which were released after being measured and photographed. Along with the site of rediscovery of this species on negros in 2003 (Alcala et al., this volume), the forest in Carmen and Catmon constitutes one of the species lasted critically important strongholds. However, the only available habitat in this area is a series of small secondary growth, limestone forest fragments, all of which are highly disturbed. tha largest remaining fragment, circa 60 ha, is also threatened by the cutting of trees for charcoal, agricultural development and poaching. In addition, the site is not a protected area and was not included in the listing of key Conservation Site ' on Cebu (Mallari et al., 2001). Thus, it is important to identify and implement conservation measures in order tp protect the surviving population of this once believed extinct, but still critically endangered, endemic fruit bat.

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